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Australia Education Programming

Another Player In the World of Free, Open Online CS Courseware 64

dncsky1530 writes "UNSW professor Richard Buckland, lecturer of the famous Computing 1 course on YouTube, is now running a large scale open online Computer Science course for the world. UNSW Computing 1 — PuzzleQuest and the Art of Programming starts off with microprocessors and works it way through C with interactive activities while taking students on an adventure of hacking, cracking and problem solving. It's based around a three month long PuzzleQuest with grand and suspiciously unspecified prizes as well as fame and glory for the intrepid. The next class starts December 3rd 2012."
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Another Player In the World of Free, Open Online CS Courseware

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  • Richard! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    My 1st-year comp lecturer on Slashdot! What a legend.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This is the most entertaining lecturer I ever had in my 7 years of higher educating. He does not teach programming, but rather computer science, and how to be a better thinker.
      He gave up an earlier life of making fortunes as an actuary to become a truly brilliant educator. His passions used to lie in teaching struggling students and the brightest (the run-of-the-mill are well-catered for by established systems), but I guess this is a new step in experimenting with scalability after his YouTube courses.

    • by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @10:15AM (#42081339) Homepage Journal

      This is rather suspicious - four people post here, claiming to have taken the teacher's classes, in person. All four post anonymously. Hmmmmm. Food for thought . . . .

      • by Okian Warrior ( 537106 ) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @12:45PM (#42081939) Homepage Journal

        Okay, I'm not Anonymous, and I haven't taken any Richard Buckland courses.

        I have been involved with the MOOC movement since last year (Dr. Thrun's AI class), taken several online courses, and study human learning for my day job. I've evaluated and compared the teaching styles of MOOCs for my own purposes.

        From what I've seen of his work online (YouTube videos), Richard Buckland is the best.

        In my opinion his style of presentation maximizes the student interest. Regardless of the content, Richard Buckland will make learning enjoyable; he will cultivate the student's interest and perceived value.

        Coursera [] and edX [] believe in the "learning is hard" model - they present artificial barriers and difficulties so that only the most intelligent and dedicated student will complete the course. For an example, watch the first lecture or two of Daphne Koller's "Probabalistic Graphical Models" [] online course.

        Richard Buckland takes the view of "learning is fun", and does everything he can to motivate the students. He's been trying out different techniques over the years, keeping what works and dropping what doesn't. At this point in his career, he's got a pretty good handle on what encourages students to learn.

        I predict that "The Art of Programming" will have the highest completion rate of all the online courses.

        Of the course offerings and business models I've seen, this is likely to be the best one to date.

        • His classes are notoriously hard still. He takes the view that if something is part of the subject, it can be in the exam, whether he has mentioned it or not. He also gives a lot of homework compared to other lecturers. He gets away with it because he's just such a damn good teacher that students mostly just accept it, and those who don't are silenced by his loud and opinionated fan club. Foreign students and the types of student that takes e-commerce tend to just skip his subjects, because they punish your
        • Meh, you're comparing apples with oranges. Different subjects have different inherent levels of difficulty^H^H^Hsubtlety, and the presented ideas have been around for different amounts of time, resulting in more available materials (books, lecture notes, papers - even full fledged courses) for some than others.

          It only makes sense to compare two teachers who teach the exact same course. And that only works well for courses which are 101 type courses, because more advanced courses tend to be more specialize

      • I'm not anonymous, I had him for Cryptography and Security in '05, best educator I have ever encountered. The atmosphere in his classes is like some evangelical revival, rows upon rows of screaming students wanting to not just learn but live what he's teaching. Would be damn scary if he got political.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        This is rather suspicious - four people post here, claiming to have taken the teacher's classes, in person. All four post anonymously. Hmmmmm. Food for thought . . . .

        I see nothing suspicious here. Slashdot is a VERY popular Web site that happens to attract computer geeks, so no I don't find it "coincidental" that computer geeks from a particular school happened to have read the article.

        Perhaps you are a victim of the Birthday Paradox, or perhaps you have not heard of the Six Degrees of Separation.

        Either way, I fail to see how somebody claiming to be in a teacher's class is "suspicious".

        References: [] []

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Cool, count me in

    • We're going to enable anyone to create public open courses - so a CounterStrike course might not be too far off!
    • Funny. We have all the technology (modified, GPL Quake engines that play HLBSP natively, anyone?) yet a FOSS implementation of the gameplay of the one of the most popular games ever.... doesn't exist.

      Don't say "AssaultCube" or "Urban Terror". That ain't the same. Period.
      • Urban Terror is close, but the stupid orange and blue jumpsuits need to go.

        Where's the camouflage?

      • Check out Xonotic ... Free and Open, CTF mode has the grappling hook, very fast game play... Heck, a few of the original Quake maps have been recreated.

        • .....wrong answer. I assume you've never played Counter-Strike, and just tried to find some opportunity to plug an irrelevant game.
    • But if it is free as in free beer I'm in

  • I would highly recommend R. Buckland videos for learning. I monitored his UNSW sponsored Semester 1 Computer science course "1917", from 2008. He has a Semester 2 course on youtube as well. There may be others, The first semester course has 50-some videos, each roughly an hour long. He explains even difficult things very clearly.
  • TFA mentions this is a first MOOC online course for Australia. I find that hard to believe, does anyone know of others?
  • I have taken (face to face) all three of Richard Buckland's base computer science courses and he has had a profound effect on my life. His lectures were deeply moving and manage to examine not only the essence of computer science, but also the joy of problem solving and beauty in life. He is the reason I decided to persue computer science and I cannot heap enough praise on him.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Slashdot stories should have someone go through and check to see if there are any terms or acronyms that are not commonly known to geeks and geek-like persons who might read Slashdot. Call me ignorant, but WTF is UNSW? Is that the University of North South West? University of New Saint Westminster? University of Never Sing Worried? Uncle Ned Stopped Working? Use No Shredded Wires? Usually, Nora Stands Wide? US Navy Ships Wiggle? Unitarians Nary Sell Whiskey? Ultraviolet's Nice, Stop Whining? Unde

    • Un Not Safe (for) Work?

    • you're a bit late to the the party! AS has already been explained, UNSW is University of New South Wales (one of the older universities in Australia). Maybe Slashdot editors should insist the ALL acronyms, esp. the US ones, be explained at least once per article.

  • I just finished the free Introduction to Networking offered by Stanford (which I also found out about via Slashdot)

    Now I have signed up for this course. I think I fit a fairly typical hobbyist demographic - some very simple playing with BASIC, some Arduino hacking, but minimal formal programming experience.

    It's a shame this course doesn't offer a certificate of accomplishment like the Stanford one does. We'vw all dealt with the HR dept that thinks certificates are more important than experience :-(

I've finally learned what "upward compatible" means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes. -- Dennie van Tassel